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How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? #5113814
05/23/19 06:24 PM
05/23/19 06:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 38
Canada eh
PotatoFarmer77w Offline OP
PotatoFarmer77w  Offline OP

Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 38
Canada eh
Hi all,

Just went for a car wash today after a long road trip. Noticed that some part of the front radiator is filled with bugs and it's almost impossible to remove. How can you prevent it from happening in the first place? I know there's something like a "rad guard" out there on the market but since my vehicle is relatively new they haven't made one for it yet.

Note: vehicle is a 16 Mazda 3

Thanks for any helps smile


1995 Chevrolet K1500 5.7 v8
2007 Ford Ranger 2.3 I4
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113820
05/23/19 06:29 PM
05/23/19 06:29 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,153
Cincinnati, OH, USA
bullwinkle Offline
bullwinkle  Offline

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,153
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Plastic screen has worked for me, just take it off, replace it, & throw it away when it gets clogged. Zip ties hold it on pretty well.


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113836
05/23/19 06:39 PM
05/23/19 06:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,251
Coastal South Carolina
edwardh1 Offline
edwardh1  Offline

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,251
Coastal South Carolina
or harware cloth from hardware store,
it will not burn


These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113843
05/23/19 06:49 PM
05/23/19 06:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,590
San Antonio, TX
E150GT Offline
E150GT  Offline

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,590
San Antonio, TX
Sometime this summer I plan to take the bumper cover off my car and clean the condenser. I watched an Eric the car guy video and it showed cleaning the condenser yielded lower pressures in the AC system.


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5MT - 251k 5w30
2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 68k 5w30
2006 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.8 40k 5w30
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113863
05/23/19 07:12 PM
05/23/19 07:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 2,221
Western S.C.
CR94 Offline
CR94  Offline

Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 2,221
Western S.C.
Some vehicles have much larger openings in the grill than others, the larger ones being ridiculously large.

In previous cars, I installed window screening between grill and radiator. In this one I haven't, but did put plastic gutter screening (from Lowe's) in the grill. It's cheap, durable, doesn't rattle or mar surfaces as hardware cloth would, and is not horribly conspicuous. The openings are about a quarter of an inch squares. That should at least keep birds, large insects, and big rocks out of the radiator, condenser, and the other expensive heat exchanger.

Last edited by CR94; 05/23/19 07:14 PM.

2011 Toyota Prius now at 101K
1981 Mazda GLC (323) retired at 606K
1972 Subaru DL retired at 190K
1954 Chevrolet retired at 121K
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113888
05/23/19 07:26 PM
05/23/19 07:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,265
Silicon Valley
PandaBear Offline
PandaBear  Offline

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,265
Silicon Valley
In the old days people power wash their window AC with caustic soda solution, or other similar stuff.

If you have enough time you can take off the front bumper / support / radiator fan, and power wash it, scrub it with a wire brush, etc.

Or just leave it alone.


"You keep asking questions PandaBear and you'll end up a vegetarian like my wife" - Camu Mahubah
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: CR94] #5113944
05/23/19 08:19 PM
05/23/19 08:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 27,837
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Garak Offline
Garak  Offline

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 27,837
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted by CR94
In previous cars, I installed window screening between grill and radiator.

Yes, and that's still effective when someone wants to do so. I liked the days when there were readily available screen inserts and/or bras for cars to help out.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, Wix 57356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113954
05/23/19 08:29 PM
05/23/19 08:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,251
Coastal South Carolina
edwardh1 Offline
edwardh1  Offline

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,251
Coastal South Carolina
my ac condensers seem damaged more on passenger side, maybe more road trash there


These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113957
05/23/19 08:30 PM
05/23/19 08:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 13,142
The Motor City
Kestas Online content
Global Moderator
Kestas  Online Content
Global Moderator

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 13,142
The Motor City
For cars with open grilles I use 1/4 inch hardware cloth so rocks can't take out the condenser.

Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5114025
05/23/19 09:42 PM
05/23/19 09:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 458
Alberta
carviewsonic Online content
carviewsonic  Online Content

Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 458
Alberta
Aftermarket grill inserts should be available for your car and work well, but a bit pricey. A roll of window mesh screen works well too and is cheap, just replace when it's full of bugs.
I have grill inserts on the Impala and the Honda, and window mesh behind the grill of the Buick.


'18 Impala
'05 Park Avenue
'03 Park Avenue
'07 Honda Accord
'09 VStar 1300
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5114041
05/23/19 09:57 PM
05/23/19 09:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,259
Lima, Ohio, USA
earlyre Offline
earlyre  Offline

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,259
Lima, Ohio, USA
my brother cut out inserts from silver gutter mesh for his Volt, and attached with zip ties. better part of 2 years, still holding up just fine.


Mine:
13 Ford C-MAX hybrid: MC 5w20, & FL910s (in theory)
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5114362
05/24/19 09:28 AM
05/24/19 09:28 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,101
Ontario Canada
cjcride Offline
cjcride  Offline

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,101
Ontario Canada
Be careful with the powerwash on the rad fins. A coworker blew the foil like fins out of his rad that way. I don't know how close he got with the nozzle yet it was too close.

Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5114459
05/24/19 11:18 AM
05/24/19 11:18 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,710
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DoubleWasp Offline
DoubleWasp  Offline

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,710
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Best way to clean them out is with mild degreaser, a brush, and patience. Pressure washer has no business being used on heat exchangers.


07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: CR94] #5114488
05/24/19 11:32 AM
05/24/19 11:32 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,019
Texas
WyrTwister Offline
WyrTwister  Offline

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,019
Texas
Originally Posted by CR94
Some vehicles have much larger openings in the grill than others, the larger ones being ridiculously large.

In previous cars, I installed window screening between grill and radiator. In this one I haven't, but did put plastic gutter screening (from Lowe's) in the grill. It's cheap, durable, doesn't rattle or mar surfaces as hardware cloth would, and is not horribly conspicuous. The openings are about a quarter of an inch squares. That should at least keep birds, large insects, and big rocks out of the radiator, condenser, and the other expensive heat exchanger.


Window screen would be my thought .


Wyr
God bless
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: DoubleWasp] #5114548
05/24/19 12:31 PM
05/24/19 12:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,700
Chicago,IL,USA
pandus13 Offline
pandus13  Offline

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,700
Chicago,IL,USA
Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
Best way to clean them out is with mild degreaser, a brush, and patience. Pressure washer has no business being used on heat exchangers.

Would peroxide work as a pre-wash to soften the bugs remains?


16 Golf SportWagen
13 Mazda5
08 Yaris
04 Elantra
95 accent
95 mystique
97 concorde
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